Monday, October 06, 2008

The Liberals phoned me after my bedtime. How rude is that?

Now that I'm awake, let me tell you about one of the biggest 'joys' of any federal election in Canada.

The campaign offices hire loyal followers to phone people in their home at the most odd and inopportune hours to ask them who they are going to vote for. We have very few independent polls in this country and those are often sponsored by one party or other (indirectly). Actually, as anyone who has taken a basic stats class in collage knows, it's all in how you ask the question and which math you choose to use when calculating the answer.

I'm all snuggled in my extra-warm PJs and under the covers when the phone rings. Being in the half-dazed pre-sleep state, I answer. It's the Liberal Party! Am I going to vote for them? um... all signs point to no.

Instead of telling them to Sod off, I'm sleeping; I decided that now was the best time to ask my questions. I have lots of questions. I very politely told the rather enthusiastic young woman that I could be persuaded and that I had some questions, would she answer them? She's not allowed. Well, that's understandable, is there anyone else there who will answer some questions for me. No, they are all home with their families. Sleeping, I suspect.

Tell me, please, if you want me to vote for you, why are you phoning me at all hours? At least the NDP only called me while I was cooking dinner. Non of the other parties have called yet. Yeah, sure, 8pm bedtime is rather unusual for an adult these days, but I'm an unusual girl. It's not like they are phoning from a time zone that would make a good excuse. We are the furthest away from GMT out west, there are no later time zones than here. [edit: at least not in Canada. The girl did have an Indian (as in from India) accent... but I doubt the Liberals would screw up so badly as to outsource their phone surveys]

The rules of etiquette are quite clear on the matter of when you are allowed to phone people:

  • If you don't know the person or only know them slightly one phones between the hours of 10am and 8pm, noon to 7pm on weekends.
  • If you know the person moderately well, you can extend the parameters by a couple of hours either side, within reason and your knowledge of the individual's habits.
  • If you are great friends - when to phone is developed though a mutual respect and understanding (or lack there of) of each other.

There. Modern phone calling etiquette in a nutshell.

Anyway, I got the phone number for the local campaign office which will be open at a more reasonable hour. If I get a few moments tomorrow, I'm going to be doing my own little survey. Te he. I'll let you know how it goes.


Josiane said...

Those calls are so annoying! And why do they always have to call at the most inopportune moment?
I'm looking forward to the results of your own survey! Have fun with it!

marydotmusic said...

We got a call last night from the Conservative Party candidate's office. They asked if they had our vote for the party and we said "Sure!" We didn't really, but it was the easiest way to get them off the phone. (Really does skew those polls though, doesn't it?)

Last election, Denise Savoie called us herself and Jon was able to ask her a lot of questions.

I had thought a few times to go into Adam Saab's office and do a timed one on one question period as I walk by his office everyday...

Oh, and there's a debate happening at Oak Bay High on Wednesday if you're able to go:

Times Colonist Public Forum
Wednesday October 8th
7:00pm - 8:30pm
Oak Bay High School Auditorium